I had a very busy week at work and then when I get home at night (about 7:30pm-8pm), I watch Brooklyn. It is hard enough to get my runs in; I'm falling behind writing about them.
Last weekend Sat. (1/23/2010), we ran the Dipsea trail from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach. Our goal was to generally follow the route of Dipsea Race. The Dipsea Race is the second oldest race in the USA, behind the Boston Marathon. We planned to run the "Double Dipsea", which is an out and back version of the race. The trail climbs up from Mill Valley, over the top of the hills, through Muir Woods and down into Stinson Beach.
Here is a Dipsea Race course description: It begins in downtown Mill Valley with a sprint down Throckmorton to the Old Mill Park, then up three flights of stairs as tall as a fifty-story building, and up some more through an old horse ranch to Windy Gap. Then it plunges down into Muir Woods across Redwood Creek and begins a tough grind up through the trees over trails named "Dynamite" and "Cardiac." At the top of Cardiac, the course levels out before it plunges down through the "Swoop", over the rocks and roots of "Steep Ravine" and the discouragingly steep climb up "Insult Hill." Finally, as the course follows the relatively gentle slope of The Moors toward the ocean, Stinson Beach is in sight a mile ahead.
We met at 6am at a park and ride spot in the Silicon Vally to head up to Mill Valley. We arrived in Mill Valley a little after 7am for the run. Here are pictures, along with my thoughts on our route.
It was raining most of the week and was raining when we arrived, but we were all very excited to run this historic route. One of us had run the route before, but not in a while, so it took us a little while to find the stairs. Three flights of stairs to start off. Hundreds of stairs throughout the trail (over 600). Here is a picture looking back down of one of the sets of stairs.
This is the last flights of stairs. We made our way up. These were nicer and more modern. The rain made the stairs difficult to run; unless you wanted to risk falling back down.
When we got to the top of the stairs, we had good views to enjoy:
After the top of the stairs you have to run on the street for about a 1/2 a mile or so until you get the Dipsea trail:
This part of the trail is open with some hills to climb.